Tetris Party WiiWare preview from Nintendo Press Summit

In addition to the solid traditional Tetris game we’ve come to expect, Tetris Party boasts a total of 18 game modes, 10 of which were developed as entirely new modes of play just for Tetris Party. With play types like Duel Spaces, Shadow mode, Stage Racer, Field Climber, Co-op mode, and Wii Balance Board support, even veteran players have something new to look forward to. These play modes bring an astounding amount of interesting, fun, and exciting gameplay to what could have otherwise been a very plain WiiWare title. I caught up with Casey Pelkey, VP of Marketing at Tetris Online, it seemed to me that Tetris Party almost has enough content to warrant a disc release. I wanted to know more.

“People do want to see more out of a game,” Pelkey said about WiiWare titles, “The thing is that the game is definitely deep enough to be a package product, but we were committed to WiiWare from the beginning.”

As Mr. Pelkey and I spoke about the game’s development, it became clear that Tetris Party could have easily filled out a disc release.

“Hudson really hit a home run, and the best part was they left out more stuff that wasn’t put in this game, and that just means there is an opportunity for more stuff in the future.”

With a core game mode aimed to please even the most diehard Tetris fan, 18 modes of play, and online play of up to six players via Nintendo Wi-Fi , Tetris Party is not only shaping up to be one of the best values on WiiWare this fall, but also probably the best value for a Tetris title to date. If you are any kind of a puzzle fan, this game will be a steal when it is released later this month for 1200 Wii Points.

Head past the break for pictures and the rest of my preview.

In many ways Tetris Party defies convention: Meet Duel Spaces, a new game mode where you do the exact opposite of what you thought Tetris was all about. Playing on a double wide field, players take turns placing tetraminos in attempt to capture dead space.

In Shadow mode, 1-4 players must place blocks only within the visible silhouette in to create an apple, smiley face, or hey, maybe Bomberman! Turning the core game on it’s head, Party let’s you use tetraminos to create, rather than destroy.

Prepare to be challenged with the new stage racer mode, where you must navigate a falling Tetris block through a nearly bottomless pit of obstacles, ledges, and terrifyingly small passageways. This great new challenge forces players to learn advanced moves in order to proceed.

Help the little guy in Field Climber, as you build a path for your stick figure hero to collect flags and climb to the top of the playing field.

Conscript a friend in the new cooperative mode, work together to clear a double wide playing field.

Call it exercise with the Wii Balance board. Tetraminos movement is controlled by leaning left or right, and can be rotated with squat.

Tetris party will be available in Fall, 2008